Tamburini, Tommaso

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Jesuit moral theologian; b. Caltanisetta, Sicily, March 6, 1591; d. Palermo, Oct. 10, 1675. He entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 21, 1606. After completing his studies he taught philosophy for four years, dogmatic theology for seven years, and moral theology for 17 years at the colleges of Messina and Palermo. His other offices included those of rector of several colleges (Palermo, Messina, MontReale, and Caltanisetta), consultor and censor for the Sicilian Inquisition, and examiner for the episcopal curia of Palermo.

Tamburini's most notable works are the following: Methodus expeditae confessionis (5 v. Rome 1647), mainly a pastoral treatment of the Sacrament of Penance; De Communione (Palermo 1649), a treatise complementary to the preceding work and treating of the corporal and spiritual dispositions necessary for the reception of the Eucharist; De Sacrificio Missae (3 v. Palermo 1649). Because of the success of his Methodus expeditae confessionis, the Jesuit General, Vincent Caraffa, asked Tamburini to publish a summa of moral theology. The Expeditae decalogi explicationes (Venice 1654), and the Expedita iuris divini explicatio (3 v. Palermo 1661) were written in response to this request. A large number of Tamburini's other writings were published to refute the charges of laxism leveled against him by Vincent baron.

Tamburini was one of the most qualified casuists of the probabilist school during the 17th century. He reduced his exposition of moral doctrine to a minimum and gave solutions to thousands of cases. His writings are a copious compendium of information and opinions of authors. Because of their lucidity, brevity, and relative conciseness, Tamburini's works enjoyed a great success at the time they were written. Today their importance stems from their historical value, for they represent the trend of probabilism in the 17th century. His solutions to cases tended to take a less severe view, and in consequence of this he was often under attack. He claimed the validity of the probably probable opinion, which was sometimes confused with the tenuously probable opinion, and because of this he was sometimes classified as a laxist. D'Annibale and Prümmer acknowledged his learning and casuistic skill but said that he was too indulgent and should be read with caution. St. Alphonsus also pointed to the need for caution in reading his works, but considered him nevertheless a thorough theologian who solved questions by reducing them to their ultimate principles.

Bibliography: r. brouillard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 15.1:3438. c. sommervogel et al, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (BrusselsParis 18901932; v. 12 suppl. 1960) 7:183041. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 vol. in 6 (3d ed. Innsbruck 190313); v. 1 (4th ed. 1926) 4:279281.

[g. v. kohls]